We are sadly facing yet another year where the only certainty appears to be uncertainty.
But the challenges of the pandemic will in no way deter us from our mission to supercharge MS research and beef up our advocacy efforts to achieve our ultimate objective, a world without MS. And this year we are redoubling our efforts for many reasons. These include:
- It’s our birthday – 2022 marks the 50th year of MS Australia and our predecessor organisation, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society of Australia. It’s a time to reflect on the progress of the past and focus on the things that matter most to people living with MS.
- We’re launching our first five-year strategic plan for the combined entity that is now MS Australia, with our commitment to research and advocacy for people living with MS, their family, friends and carers to the fore.
- And we’re now, thanks to changes of the past two years, in a strong position to make a record-breaking commitment to life-changing MS research in Australia – stay tuned for some important news next month!
But perhaps the most compelling reason to supercharge our efforts is the fact that we are fast approaching a global research pivot point. The MS research effort, both here in Australia and across the world, is entering a critical and exciting phase, with many promising research projects placing us on the cusp of important breakthroughs.
These cover an extraordinary range of research work, from treatments that repair myelin and nerves, to the prevention of MS, using what we know about the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and vitamin D, and ultra-early detection of relapse, so we can hopefully stop the damage before it starts.
So we have a new year, a new strategic plan, a supercharged focus on research, a cast-iron commitment to enhance our advocacy (especially in the lead up to the Federal election), a renewed pledge to serve people living with MS, their families, friends and carers, all coming together in our 50th year. We have many activities planned, including our 50th anniversary research conference, our research roadshow, Parliamentary events and new resources.
For me, 2022 will also be an important year, as I aim to run my first ever marathon as part of this year’s The May 50K. It will be a herculean task for me, as I seek to get my arthritic joints and injury-prone frame over the line.
Best wishes and thanks to you all for your ongoing support. Stay safe and stay informed.